George Papavgeris George - from then to now

not another bath!


pimply skinny youff

dayjob persona

at night
Vital statistics:

Inveterate white collar computer-basher and songwriting impersonator;  born in Salonika, Greece in 1953; resident at Herga folk club; 40+ years with “the best girl north of the South Pole” (Vanessa);  a son (Martin, b1982); a daughter (Aliki, b1985); two grandkids (Timmy b2002, Abby b2005); a dog (Lyddie, b1997); and we all belong to the amputee cat (Archimedes, spawned from the jaws of hell in 1993). Update 9 June 2006: Archie sadly left us today for the big Cuddle in the Sky. We now belong to the dog.. Update 20 January 2011: Lyddie left us too, went to meet her mate Archie, who will no doubt be waiting behind a cloud to ambush her for old times' sake. Vanessa and I now belong to each other.

The music:

I’ve always been involved with music in one way or another. From school choirs (where I discovered Carmina Burana by Carl Orff), in the 60’s I was guitar-bashing protest songs in Greek “boites” and briefly playing lead guitar in a teen band ("Drosophila Melanogastris" - "aphids" to the rest of us), while also discovering mediaeval French and Italian songs; at teenage parties in Greece at the time about 50% of the music was English/American - the rest was Italian and French pop (I still drool over Mireille Matthieu's eyes & voice);  in the UK in the 70’s I fell in love with folk and tried my hand at it in the Midlands, both solo and in a trio (Cosmopolitans), but I also heard the wonderful sound of the King's Singers and got some more madrigals under my belt;  in the  80’s I rediscovered Byzantine chant and sang in a choir that won the 1982 Eisteddfod;  in the 90’s I found some gems in the Netherlands, like the group Flairck (ears that have not heard them are impoverished) and the wonderful Angelo Branduardi (superb application of traditional style to contemporary subjects); and in the 2000’s, back in the UK once more, I picked up the folk threads again with the help of the Herga, Maidenhead and St Albans folk clubs.  All along, I had of course been listening to contemporary stuff, from my generation’s staples (Beatles, Who, Canned Heat, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, ELO etc) to Jake Thackray, Clive James/Pete Atkin (still top of my all time list, their stuff is the best kept secret in the music world), Tom Lehrer (his mastery of language and rhyme leaves me crying with frustration - his songs leave me crying with laughter) and more recently Stan Rogers, Graeme Miles, Robb Johnson,  Dave Webber, Steve Hughes and the multitude of superb contemporary songwriters that enrich folk music and of whose ability to create beauty from words and sounds I am always deeply jealous.

The songs:

Then, in April 2001 something happened.  I am still not sure what it was, but the result is 236 songs and eight albums so far: “Countryside Like This” & “Perfect Moments” came out in October 2002 under my home-label of Mellows Productions; “Silent Majority” in March 2003 & "Life as usual" a year later, both under Robb Johnson’s UNLaBELLED label; and "Ordinary Heroes" & "For my next trick..." in October 2004 & March 2006 respectively, under Robb's Irregular Records label. Then in February 2008, "Life's Eyes" was my first album on the WildGoose label, followed in October 2009 by "Looking Both Ways". What’s more, people seemed to like them, and I started getting invitations for gigs. And more important, singers like Roy Bailey, Andy Irvine, Vin Garbutt, Johnny Collins, Cloudstreet, Jim Causley, Bill Whaley & Dave Fletcher etc were asking to sing my songs. Things were becoming serious, perhaps my “faffing around” was producing something worthwhile!  But I don’t want to let it become so serious that I will stop enjoying it. I just consider it a lucky “streak”, and I intend to ride it as far as it will take me.

Looking back at what I have written so far, I now realise something that must have been there all along, yet I had never acknowledged overtly: I am driven by love of people with their imperfections (BECAUSE of their imperfections, even) and love to watch and support them as they struggle through daily life. It was always there; the songs acted as the relief valve to let it out. I still carry idealism too, no longer naive but tainted already with the compromises and stresses of adulthood. In a way, my songs are a cry of fear – that I might one day lose my idealism altogether. But still, in my world all is not gloom and doom; there are lots of perfect moments, and I am determined to enjoy and celebrate them all.

Of course, I don't know how long this will go on. Is my songwriting just a phase? Will song No 237 be written? Will I know it when I have "dried up"? God knows.
Meanwhile, I am having the time of my life; and meeting lots of people in the folk circuit; and making friends - good friends.
And when, every now and then, I hear another voice singing a song of mine, I feel the need to say "thanks".

sometimes I think that I must be dreaming...
...but please don't wake me up!